Experts including former governors of Niger and Adamawa states, Babangida Aliyu and Murtala Nyako respectively at the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation (SABMF) have called for the formulation of a holistic and enduring national policy on agricultural extension policy to tackle food insecurity in Nigeria.
Speaking in Abuja at an “Expert’s Roundtable on Perspectives of Extension in Agriculture Value Chain: Driving Policy Development and Climate Smart Adaptation” organised by the foundation, earlier, the managing director/CEO of SABMF, Engr Abubakar Gambo, said there are challenges in the nation’s agriculture extension value chain.
“We know that majority of the nation’s population, especially the youths are jobless and we feel that agriculture remain among the best options to addressed this challenge.
“As part of our mandate, we must be involved in creating much awareness to make people go back to the farms and not just to go back to the farms but to produce agricultural products that would be of national quality and international standard and of high yield,” Umar said.
He said the roundtable was a precursor to the upcoming national conference on the matter so that people would understand agriculture importance to the progress of the country and wellbeing of the citizenry,” he said.
The chairman, SABMF Board of Trustees (BoT) and former Niger State governor, Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, stressed the importance of standardising agricultural extension policies in the country to boost the agricultural value chain production and ensure food security.
For the former Adamawa State governor Murtala Nyako, there should be entrenchment of modern facilities and mode of agriculture in the country to boost food production and generate employment.
Also, advisory council member of the SABMF and professor of agricultural extension at the University of Ibadan (U.I), Mohammed Kuta Yahaya, said agricultural extension policy is like a catalyst of bedrock to agricultural development.
Meanwhile, in a communique issued at the end of the round table and made available to journalists on Friday, the experts called on the minister of agriculture and rural development to as a matter of urgency, convene a National Council of Agriculture meeting to deliberate on and approve the National Policy on Agricultural Extension, speedily present it as an executive bill to the National Assembly for accelerated passage into law.